While the city reports water conservation, which is laudable, several issues were not covered in the newspaper story.
1. Unfortunately, little was said about the root cause of the city’s water conservation push.
2. The City of Yelm over-pumped their annual water allocation and were required to take stark measures to continue to obtain water for the develop, develop, develop agenda of this City Hall.
The City of Yelm over-pumped their Ecology allocation of 796.66 acre feet per year (afy) of water rights in 2009 at 810.42 afy.
3. The city was also restricted by Health to a limited number of additional connections to the city’s water system in 2010.
4. The comments of Mayor Harding below about how many acre feet per year of water the city saved in 2010 are only an estimate on his part & MUST be verified by Ecology and then compared to their annual allocation. Those numbers should be made public in late January, 2011.
THESE KIND OF OMISSIONS ARE NOT HELPFUL FOR THE PUBLIC TO UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS TO WHICH YELM MUST ADHERE IN HOW MUCH WATER THEY CAN PUMP & THEIR ABILITY TO ADD CONNECTION PERMITS.
Megan Hansen reported for the Nisqually Valley News last Friday:
“The City of Yelms water conservation campaign seems to be working and city officials are singing praises.
‘Weve saved a tremendous amount of water,’ Yelm Mayor Ron Harding said. ‘Its been a very successful program.’
Earlier this year, the city instituted water budgets for commercial customers during summer irrigation months…
The outcome: the city saved 35 acre feet of water.
Results surpassed even the citys expectations, Harding said. The projection was to save 22 acre feet…
Two businesses that went above and beyond, Walmart and Prairie Hotel, were recognized by the city Monday [December 6]…
Because of this residents are now conserving, Harding said. The city used 90 acre feet of less water this year than last year.”
ALSO OMITTED FROM HANSEN’S REPORT IS THIS UP-COMING CITY COUNCIL ORDINANCE:
“The Yelm City Council will vote Tuesday night to:
“Adopt Ordinance No. 931 relating to development regulations and water connections; establishing a process and standards for issuance of building permits subject to availability of City water service
The City currently has a limited number of water connections available for the issuance of new building permits. In order to administer permits orderly during this time period, the City Council is requested to adopt an amendment to the Water System Code to clarify how permits will be processed during this time period of limited connection availability.
The process as outlined in the proposed Ordinance is designed to be fair to all applicants. Permits are and have always been processed in first come first served order. The situation now exists, however, that a large scale commercial or multi-family permit application could require more water connections than the City currently has available and, since that permit cannot be issued, hold up all permits behind it in line.”
THE CITY ADMITS THEY HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF WATER CONNECTIONS & HAVE TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT HOW THEY DOLE THOSE OUT.
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